A new life for
early careers

The brief

Thales are a French tech company working across aerospace, transportation, defence and security. They needed a new design to their early careers site to increase quality applications for grads and apprentices as well as show the benefits of working there.

What I did

  • Art direction
  • Design
  • Prototyping


  • Highlight the different opportunities across all of the business areas.

    Thales have some great graduate and apprenticeship schemes across engineering, business and computer science, but a lot of people view them only as a defence company. The site needed to show the range of career opportunities in an informative and engaging way.

  • Improve the application process.

    The application process on the existing site was complex and difficult to navigate. There was little to support the user in understanding what information they would need so the new design simplified the process as well as providing hints and tips and an application checklist.

  • Increase the level of quality applicants.

    The success of a recruitment site is not always about increasing the number of applicants, but making sure they have the information they need to produce a better application. One of the biggest challenges was to increase the number of quality applications and give a more realistic view of what would be required from successful candidates. This meant providing content on the type of projects they work on, information about the schemes and stories from existing employees.

A modular design approach

The users of the site had different needs dependent on whether they were graduates, apprentices or interns so a modular design approach was used tailoring the content for each section of the site that would then be fully editable in the CMS.

People and projects

Highlighting the variety of the work that they do at Thales was really important. The site needed to show the different roles grads and apprentices played in some of the key projects. It needed to show that you would be working on major projects right from the beginning and it would be a challenging but rewarding role.

I wanted it to have a lot of impact so developed a design where each illustration would morph into the next when selecting the different businesses areas. A lot of clever code options were considered to make it work but we found that good old fashioned .gifs couldn’t be beaten. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best.

Application process

The application process on the existing site had some major usability issues and so this was one of the key areas of improvement for the new design. On a careers site often people head straight to the application section so I wanted the it to be much more than just a form to fill in.

The page provided a checklist of what you will need before applying, information on the application process and a useful matching tool to help understand which programs you would be best suited to.


  • 62% increase in year on year grad/intern page traffic
  • 73% increase in applications
  • 1 in 2 average hire ratio as opposed to 1 in 4 the previous year


What I learned

This project was a real fun one to do as I got to really push the design and try and make something with its own identity. I wanted to make sure it looked great and provided a good user experience across all devices, so I did a lot of prototyping in HTML and CSS right from the start.

The interactions and transitions on this site were as important to the design language as the colours, fonts and imagery so this approach meant that these decisions were being made early. Animation is something that can really improve the user experience and help guide you through the site, not just something that should be added on at the end for that extra bit of gloss. Its always good to remember a website is a living thing and not just a snapshot in Photoshop or Sketch at one or two sizes.

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